UCI/TUSD Science Academy Workshop explores opportunities to enhance students' complex thinking skills
For the morning session of the workshop, the teachers reflected on lesson plan implementation, considered student data, then reviewed the co-designed lesson plan.
"We first discussed how to implement the co-designed curriculum in a principled way," said Kang, "and then how to address problems of our practices. One problem that the teachers identified is uneven participation among students in their lessons. They want to make all students’ voices heard in the classroom. Attending to race, language, and identities is one of the design principles that guide our work in this project. So we are focusing on this problem of practice today."
For the classroom implementation of the co-designed lesson, physics teacher Jennifer Douglas introduced the activity to her students: Draw a dream car for someone you care about and identify the necessary features. Once the students completed a drawing, they described and justified their selection of features in small group settings. Each group agreed upon three features to share with the class. Class discussion of the preferred features provided the teachers with opportunities to tie the automobile features to various principles of physics and observe the effectiveness of the lesson.
Following the first classroom visit, the teachers regrouped, revisited the morning's lesson plan, and delivered an updated version to Paul Tschida's physics classroom.
In their closing debriefing session, the teachers discussed what they learned about students' ideas and ways of thinking and talking, then planned the next part of the science unit. Kang is planning additional workshops for the UCI/TUSD Science Academy.
UCI team members assisting with the November 7 workshop included Jasmine Nation, Dana Conlin, Sharon Stone, Yasmeen Allie, Isabel Soto, Lupe-Barrera, and Diana Pablo-Ramirez.